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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

  • this course will provide a comprehensive understanding of how genetic information is stored, how it is accessed by the cell to form functional proteins and how the release of this information is controlled to produce a healthy human child;
  • understanding this process is essential to understanding the basis of human disease and the course will examine how genetic differences affect disease susceptibility;
  • this popular, comprehensive and cutting edge course will equip students with the essential knowledge, skills and confidence in molecular biology required to progress on all courses undertaken in the School of Medical Sciences

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Alasdair MacKenzie

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course is divided into 4 main modules as follows; 1. Nucleic Acids: this module will provide an overview of nucleic acid biochemistry with emphasis on the dynamic structure of DNA and the way in which it is replicated and packaged into chromosomes. The basic principles of modern recombinant DNA technologies will also be introduced. 2. Gene regulation: one of the most important questions within modern biology centres on how one- dimensional information held within the DNA is turned into healthy living 3-dimensional organisms that are able to interact with their environments. This module will describe how this information is decoded by transcription and translation to form proteins and how organisms control these processes to ensure that the correct proteins are produced in the correct cells at the correct times and in the correct amounts. 3. Peptides and proteins: this module will provide a comprehensive introduction to protein biochemistry, building on the basic chemistry of amino acids and peptides. The properties of proteins will be described, using a number of specific examples. The final lectures in the module will consider the methods used to study proteins. These provide the information that underlies our current understanding of protein structure and function. 4. Genetic disease: this module will explain how genomes can be compromised by mutation and chromosomal rearrangements leading to disorders such as Downs syndrome, cystic fibrosis, fragile-X syndrome and cancer.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

100%  in-course assessment

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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